London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Coulsdon and Purley 1936

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Coulsdon]

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It will be seen that the chief causes of death in the District were
Heart and other circulatory diseases (including Cerebral Haemorrhage)
161, and Cancer 70, followed by Pulmonary Tuberculosis 23, Pneumonia
(all forms) 18, Nephritis 17 and Violence (including Suicide), 14.
The percentage of deaths due to heart and other circulatory disease
was approximately the same as in 1935, constituting just over one-third
of all deaths.
As has been previously stated, in so far as this group includes deaths
from what is virtually senility, it is hoped that the proportion coming
under this heading will increase. The proportion over 65 years of age
was 72 per cent., that being the same as in the last two years, while
40 per cent. were over 75 years of age at the time of death.
Of the remaining 28 per cent. under 65 years of age only about
4 per cent. were connected with Rheumatism, the chief cause of heart
disease in the young, or were congenital in origin. It is probable,
however, that Rheumatism was responsible for the original damage
in a much larger proportion, although not mentioned in the Death
Once again, about one-fifth of this group of deaths was in respect
of persons under 65 years of age, in whom the postponement of death
might reasonably have been expected had undue strain or excess
been avoided.
As in 1935, cancer produced 15.9 per cent. of the total deaths,
as compared with 19.4 per cent. in 1934 and 18.8 per cent. in 1933.
Considered in relation to the population, the Cancer Death Rate was
1.36 per thousand of population in 1936, and 1.28, 1.49 and 1.30 in the
preceding three years, corresponding figures for England and Wales
being 1.61 for 1936, 1.58, 1.56, and 1.52. As the average annual Cancer
Death Rate locally was 1.13 per thousand of population from 1915-24
and 1.26 from 1925-34, while that for England and Wales was 1.21
and 1.44, it will be seen that an increasing proportion of deaths is being
attributed to this disease. While in part this is due to better notification
and diagnosis, this proportion is such that increasing effort is required
to reduce this too common cause of death.
The following table gives the age, sex and distribution of the disease
in the 70 deaths which occurred during 1936:—